About those illegal immigrants.

You don't like Illegal Immigrants/Undocumented Workers? Fine. But, don't hand me that whooey about them being the cause of our healthcare woes. From a comment I made over at johnedwards.com

This idea that immigrants are coming here for health care, and using up all our resources is untrue.

Health care use among undocumented Latino immigrants
M L Berk, C L Schur, L R Chavez, and M Frankel

Using data from a 1996/1997 survey of undocumented Latino immigrants in four sites, we examine reasons for coming to the United States, use of health care services, and participation in government programs. We find that undocumented Latinos come to this country primarily for jobs. Their ambulatory health care use is low compared with that of all Latinos and all persons nationally, and their rates of hospitalization are comparable except for hospitalization for childbirth. Almost half of married undocumented Latinos have a child who is a U.S. citizen. Excluding undocumented immigrants from receiving government-funded health care services is unlikely to reduce the level of immigration and likely to affect the well-being of children who are U.S. citizens living in immigrant households.

Cutting off help to them?

Elimination of public funding of prenatal care for undocumented immigrants in California: a cost/benefit analysis.
For every dollar cut from prenatal care we expect an increase of $3. 33 in the cost of postnatal care and $4.63 in incremental long-term cost. Elimination of publicly funded prenatal care for undocumented women could save the state $58 million in direct prenatal care costs but could cost taxpayers as much as $194 million more in postnatal care, resulting in a net cost of $136 million initially and $211 million in long-term costs. CONCLUSIONS: Elimination of public funding of prenatal care for undocumented immigrants in California could substantially increase low birth weight, prematurity, and postnatal costs.

Those babies are US citizens by the way, for the same reason we are, they were born here.

The myth that Hispanics are crowding our ERs?

Countering a popular belief, researchers say that communities with higher numbers of uninsured, Hispanics or non-citizens have a lower use of hospital emergency departments.

Instead, places with the highest levels of emergency department use are those with more elderly residents, communities where people have to wait a long time for appointments with their own doctors and places where a smaller percentage of the population is enrolled in HMOs vs. other kinds of insurance.

"Emergency room use is up across the population, including more middle-class folks with private insurance," says study author Peter Cunningham, a senior fellow at the Center for Studying Health System Change.

Do they use our medical facilities? Yes. Do they pay for it? Yes.

Toward estimating the impact of changes in immigrants' insurance eligibility on hospital expenditures for uncompensated care.

RESULTS: When measured at the state level, there was no significant relationship between uncompensated care expenditures and states' percentage of noncitizen immigrants. Uninsurance rates were the only significant factor in predicting uncompensated hospital care expenditures by state.

So, dislike illegal/undocumental workers all you want. Go look at the stats comparing their effect on the workplace, but don't parrot right-wing talking points that it is THEIR fault our healthcare system sucks. It's not. It's ours. For not standing up to BCBS here in North Carolina, for not backing Verla's Insko's Health Care for All bill, for not electing more Progressives.


The bigots have won.

When the English didn't want the Irish here, they lost.

When the Irish didn't want the Italians here, they lost.

When the Italians didn't want the Eastern Europeans here, they lost.

When the Eastern Europeans didn't want the Nordic people here, they lost.

When the Nordic people didn't want the Chinese here, they lost.

But, suddenly the "brown" people need to get in a never-ending line and wait for a miracle before they are invited to come work our fields, pay our taxes and become "guest workers".

Well, who gave us the right to shut our borders? Why now? What made this country great was the waves of immigrants that arrived every decade willing to work for next to nothing, because in their own land they had nothing. We're slipping into economic decay because we want to keep these people out, we only want smart, white people to immigrate from Europe to work in our tech support or our universities.

So, yes, they are illegal. Yes, they did something wrong. Yes, some of them should be sent home. But, not all of them. Not those who have worked for this country, paid their taxes in this country, raised their children in this country, and helped keep this country as competitive as it is.

Our closed border policy to Mexico is asinine.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

I totally agree with you in

I totally agree with you in EVERYTHING you have said above. I am second generation Russian, and yes my grandfather an educated man who spoke eight languages and English fluently was none the less considered a foreigner in 1910 when he came here and was sent to work in the coal mines of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. But, he and my grandmother were Americans from the day they got off the boat until the day they died. They loved this country and taught their children and grandchildren to love it and revere it as the greatest country in the world; with opportunities for any one to grow to their fullest and make of themselves what they chose.

This is how the new immigrants from our neighbors to the south feel I am sure. They come and we need them desperately to do the jobs they do to keep our economy stable and growing. If I can find one fault with these people it is their lack of appreciation for education. All other immigrant groups who came had a hardy respect for education and therefore pushed their children and grandchildren to prospered in the United States. The Hispanics lack of drive in this area is unfortunate in that it will keep their children and grandchildren from migrating from the lower class to the middle classes. It is sadly only to their own detriment.


Different Social Norms.

A story from my neighborhood. A neighbor has a Hispanic woman who comes over and cleans once a week, often with her brother. One week she showed up by herself, and she said BLANK was sick (whoever it was that watched her kids when she cleaned), and her brother was keeping her baby.

She got a call halfway through that her brother was coming over because the baby had a wet diaper. This is Chapel Hill, they live in Durham, he was driving over to Chapel Hill to have a wet diaper changed. Not because he didn't know how, but because Mexican men don't change diapers.

There are different social norms that take awhile to be incorporated into our society. My mother actually says that my brother-in-law (my sister's wife) was the first man she saw who was comfortable pushing a baby carriage and taking care of young kids. When we were kids she said any man who did that was laughed at by the other men and called a "sissy".

Who knows where we will be in one generation if we can continue educating immigrants about the importance of education.

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Very few things piss me off more

Than racial/ethnic scapegoating. That's so convenient an argument for conservatives, that, along with blaming malpractice suits---which you smashed in a post yesterday.

One of our black commissioners voted with the redneck white Republican majority recently on a resolution to "clarify" Forsyth County's policy on not hiring illegal, undocumented workers. When the county manager pointed out that it was already policy, they went ahead with their pre-election scapegoating anyway.

You expect it from some of the idiot redneck elected officials around here. But for a black Democrat to join in? Or a black anyparty for that matter. It sucks that only 40 years or so since the downfall of Jim Crow this stuff still goes on.

I suppose everybody should be able to pick on somebody else at some point in his life. . .

War is over if you want it.

Short cultural memory.

I am white, white, white. But, you know what? My grandparents were first generation Lutheran Swedes, they went from working dairy farms to opening a General Store. The German Catholics in our rural part of Pennsylvania didn't like that.

So, they used to burn crosses across from the family's General Store.

People just have no cultural memory that not so long ago THEY were the "other" group.

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

I heard

on NPR last night that the dude who is the CEO of UnitedHealthGroup holds $1.8 Billion in stock options as part of his compensation package. I haven't checked that fact out, but if its true, I'd say you can do a whole lot o'healthcare for 1.8 Billion smackaroos.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

I've been to Mexico and...

I preferred the health care there. Our one year old son got sick. We went to the doctor. She sent us to the lab downstairs. We went back up to her. She read the results... stomach parasite. She wrote a prescription for him and one for the rest of us too.

It took about an hour. We paid 100 pesos for each service. That's about $10 for a doctor's visit. $10 for the lab tests. $10 for each prescription.

Health insurance? What health insurance? We don't need no stinkin' health insurance. That's the same deal everyone gets.

Why would I leave that to come to the US for medical care?

The Plus and Minus

when I was in Morocco visiting my wife it was the same way. The catch though, is that they don't have the 100 pesos for the medical bill or the transportation from the country to the nearest clinic. Or, the rural clinics are horribly understaffed with no specialized medicine.

In Morocco, if you needed a pharmacy it was a 5 hour van ride down the Mountain.

So, as it is here, it ain't bad if you can get it.

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

True, true

Their system is far from perfect. Of course it's the economic system that creates the majority of the problems for accessing the health care.

I just think it's ridiculous to suggest that people would leave a country with socialized medicine to come here for our health care.

Checked it out

that fact I mentioned above ... about the $1.8 billion in stock options. Turns out, its NOT true. Well, 1.8billion isn't the precise figure.

From the AFL-CIO article "What's Wrong with Executive Pay" comes this:

On paper, McGuire is a stock option billionaire with $1,776,547,635 in unexercised stock options as of Dec. 31, 2005.[2]

I was off by 240 million. According to the same website, McGuire's total compensation in 2005 was ~60 million, including 2.2mil in salary and a 5.8mil bonus. What does this guy do, shat gold bricks?

Now, executive pay is a different subject than healthcare costs. I just think it is important and useful to get these numbers out there because its fairly shocking for us middle-classers to hear what these people make. AND because it is a pretty good indication of where SOME of the waste in the American heath care system might be.

I think us middle-classers will stand up for ourselves when we realize that we and our employer fork over billions every year in premiums (that would otherwise come to us in our paychecks) so the gold brick shatters of the world can buy better jets and add to their vacation home collections. How that benefits the overall American economy, strengthens the social fabric of society or fits into the family values talk, I'll never know.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."


Don't forget that the health insurance companies lost much of their reserves when the stock market tanked in 2001. So, how do you think they have made enough money to pay these kinds of salaries and stock options?

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Good point, Robert.

It's no secret that health care premiums are more closely connected to what happens to the stock market than to anything to do with health care. Those with an interest in manufacturing a malpractice lawsuit crisis would have you believe lawsuits are responsible for rising health insurance rates, but that is not so.